Monday, 12 November 2007

Analysis: What’s wrong with African rulers-cum-beggars in suits?

NKWAZI NKUZI MHANGO

PRETTY pity as it was, during the G8 Summit in Northern Germany, once again Africa proved to be far behind as far as development and self respect are concerned. The image of our rulers represented by a handful of them was a very disturbing sight especially for Africans and all humans who love equality and human dignity.

Dithering with humility as they sheepishly kow towed, African rulers gate crashed the summit to remind rich countries of their promises they did not live up to.

Theirs (African rulers), was to remind rich countries of their ’sacred duty' to Africa! Ironically the same --African rulers-- are not discharging their?constitutional duties to their people! If anything they arrest the development of their countries. They promise many goodies during election campaigns. But once they ascend to power, they do nothing except to exploit the same guys that trusted and empowered them through their votes!

They arrogantly wanted money for fighting ‘poverty’ and Aids pandemic! Phew! But the reality on the ground is clearly without any shred of doubts that corruption and negligence by our shameless rulers,have contributed hugely to the spread of poverty and HIV-Aids. But again, behind this catastrophe there are the same guys in expensive suits, cap in hand begging! Behind this sacrilege, are the same guys signing dubious contracts of minerals not to mention shell or ghost companies created as conduits of robbing public coffers. Refer to Deep Green, Tangold, Goldenberg in Kenya and others alike.

Many sane people still dispute the normalcy of such rulers. Why? Because Africa with abundance of natural resources, fertile soil, rivers and lakes is not supposed to degrade herself by begging or depending on handouts and left overs. Does it mean that our rulers do not know this? ?Everybody knows. But again once the brain moves down to stomach, chances are that knowing and not knowing may sound the same.

We need to single handedly confront this naked?reality. Something is amiss in our upper echelons of powers, so to speak. How can we feel at home with such degrading donkey-man relationship with our god-like donor on the one hand and our rulers on the other hand? Are our rulers happy with this disgrace. Hell no. Something is likely to be terribly wrong somewhere (upstairs). Importantly we must remember, this is but a time bomb.

African rulers wanted the rich nations to live up to their promises they made in 2005 in Gleneagles, Scotland. But before doing so: Are our leaders ready to come clean on the same? How many of them do not fulfill their promises to their citizenry? Worse enough, when they are reminded of that they vex those who remind them to do the right thing!

They were condemning rich nations for exploiting Africa! Croc’s tears, of course, and sheer stinking hypocrisy! Well, don’t African rulers exploit their citizenry? It came to light just few days ago, that some presidents do not even pay taxes! Where does such a person get moral authority to condemn others? Grand corruption in Africa is rampant. Abuses of office and all sorts of extravagance are a common sight in Africa almost in every country. As of present, Tanzania is entangled in tens of scandals and the president is ranting and raving at those making allegations about these dirty acts! Ruling party’s cadres are dispatched to rural areas to defend the same kit and caboodle of guys! Once again public coffers are ruined under the pretext of educating people about the budget! The so-called government of the people has teamed up with the gang of self serving goons against the very voters that brought it to power!

In the just ended G8 Summit, Africa, among others, was represented by big names such as Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Umaru Yar’Adua (Nigeria), John Kuffor (Ghana) and Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia).

Whereas Africa was humbly seeking the mercy of the rich countries; G8 leaders were down to serious business. They had pressing matters such as global warming and the threat of relegating back to arm race between The US and Russia.

Africa is the super rich continent when it comes to natural resources. But ironically, is as well super poor when it comes to human development. The question, ’’what is wrong with Africa’’ goes on resurfacing. Why are African rulers at home with degrading begging? Is it because of the ten per cent they scoop off the money they get? Is it the liberty of spending and 'extravagate' the same money without being subjected to auditing or any scrutiny from the citizenry? ?How can a country like Tanzania support this nugatory begging mission whilst at home billions of shillings are swindled and the same does not take any reasonable action to stop the economic terrorism?

There are people who take African rulers as hypocrites. For they condemn what they practice. They act like monkeys which laugh each other’s back. They preach water and drink wine. Some doubt of?their sanity. Sadly though, this has been the impression non-Africans to all Africans! They compare us with an elephant which with all the energy it commands, can not build a hut! It is even outflanked by a bird that builds a nest so warm that it enjoys whilst the elephants sleeps in the cold.

Some go an extra mile by comparing us with a bull or a camel which can be driven and rode by even a young boy without any resistance. But these are beasts guided by instincts not intellect like us.

If I were an African ruler, never would I go cap in hand begging. Instead I would utilize our resources and people to see to it that I revamp my economy. It is excruciatingly degrading to find an old man the age of Mbeki or Kuffor to kow tow before such young leaders from rich countries who, that by comparison, are just like their own kids.

Stephen Harper (Canada), Nicolas Sarkozy ( France ), Angela Merkel ( Germany ), Tony Blair ( Britain ) and Shinzo Abe ( the then Japan premier), are young guys in their early fifties. Yet our rulers do not underscore this! For them money is better than their dignity and humanity! Shame on you!

This shamelessness, uselessness, hopelessness -where the vital human qualities and dignity are ignored by the so-called leaders-show that Africa still needs stable and sane leaders instead of rulers she currently has. This is caused by the fact that Asian and Latin American poor countries of which some are even poorer than some African countries did not gate crash the summit. They did not want to degrade themselves simply because they would be rewarded for that by being tossed coins or a morsel.

If poverty without morality would have been the reasons, one would expect to see rulers of Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Haiti, Costa Rica and what not on the fore front of begging. But despite being poor, these guys are not ready to strip naked. They?can?t stomach?washing their linens in the agora.

There are some countries which did away from begging and they are doing much better than even Africa . Take Cuba for example. For over 40 years it has been illegally and maliciously sanctioned by the US. But again, by utilizing its natural resources wisely and bravely?has soldiered and has even been able to help other poor countries.

Mwalimu Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, did not subject himself before rich countries. He hated to be called a ‘good boy’. Yet he performed more wonderfully than any other president who came thereafter despite being backed by rich countries!

Currently Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) by teaming up with staunch neo-socialists such as Nestor Kitcner (Argentina),Evo Morales (Bolivia), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and others whose stand is in between like Brazil’s Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Chavez intends to break the jigsaw which we were made to believe is unsolvable. These guys are embarking on what they called socialist revolution. Chances are that they are going to succeed.

While one is wondering of the logic behind Africa’s begging satisfaction, there is yet another wonder. Do you know that some of African rulers are richer than those of the countries they beg from? Why not if they are ruling by the law of the jungle whereby a ruler is, but a demigod?

Whereas African rulers invest in their private business, those in rich countries invest in their people. So our poverty is not God-given. It is certainly unscrupulously man-made. How many African rulers rob their countries’ coffers so as to purchase arms for their private armies?

These guys are good at deal making. Look at Goldenberg and Anglo leasing scandals in Kenya . Look at Richmond, radar, IPTL and others in Tanzania. Who are behind them? They are those who told you they loved you whilst in actual fact their love is to stab you on the back!

While our beggars in suits are burning our money, our people are starving. They are left to non governmental organizations to desperately fend for them. Some of them like World Vision are doing so by advertising such degrading photos of our poor and ignorant people in Europe and America. Who cares? Shame on you all so-called leaders!

Africa has every reason to forge ahead. One thing though is amiss, leadership. When will our rulers behave responsibly like human beings?

Please take a leaf. Begging will never free Africa. Are we together?


nkwazigatsha@yahoo.com?blog; mpayukaji.blogspot.com

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